Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 30, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

2:00 pm
including human rights. ultimately, that's how we help raise wages here in america. that is how we help our workers compete on a level playing field. building walls won't do that. [applause] [applause] president obama: it won't boost our economy and it won't enhance our security. isolating or disparaging muslims, suggesting that they should be treated differently when it comes to entering this country, that is not just of the a betrayal of our values -- [applause] president obama: that's not just a betrayal of who we are. it would alienate our communities at home and abroad who are most important partners in the fight against violent extremism. we can build an
2:01 pm
endless wall along our borders and blame our challenges on immigrants, that does not just run counter to our history as the world melting pot. it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe. that is how we became america. why would we want to stop it now? [applause] president obama: can't do it. which brings me to my third point. facts, evidence, reason, logic, an understanding of science -- these are good things.
2:02 pm
these are qualities you want in people making policy. these are qualities you want to continue to cultivate in yourselves as citizens. [applause] president obama: that might seem obvious. [laughter] president obama: and that's why we honor bill moyers or dr. burnell. we traditionally have valued those things, but if you were listening to today's political debate, you might wonder where this strain of anti-intellectualism came from. [laughter] [applause]
2:03 pm
president obama: so, class of 2016, let me be as clear as i can be. in politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. [applause] president obama: it's not cool to not know what you're talking about. [laughter] president obama: that's not keeping it real or telling it like it is. that's not challenging political correctness. that's just not knowing what you're talking about. [laughter] president obama: and yet, we have become confused about this. look, our nation's founders -- franklin, madison, hamilton, jefferson -- they were born of the enlightenment. they sought to escape superstition, and sectarianism, and tribalism, and know-nothingness.
2:04 pm
they believed in rational thought and experimentation and the capacity of informed citizens to master our own fate. that is embedded in our constitutional design. that spirit informs our ventures and our explorers -- the edison's and the wright brothers and the george washington carver's and the norman borlaugs and the steve jobs. that is what built this country. and today, in every phone in one of your pockets, we have access to more information than at any time in human history at a touch of a button. but ironically, the flood of information has not made us more discerning of the truth. in some ways, it has made us more confident in our ignorance.
2:05 pm
we assume whatever is on the web must be true. we search for sites that just reinforce our own predispositions. opinions masquerade as fact. the wildest conspiracy theories are taken for gospel. i am sure you have learned during your years of college, and if not, you will learn soon, that there are a whole lot of folks who are book smart and have no common sense. that is the truth. [laughter] [applause] president obama: you will meet them, if you have not already. [laughter] president obama: the fact that they have a fancy degree, you have to talk to them to see whether they know what they are talking about. qualities like kindness and compassion, honesty and hard work, they often matter more than technical skills and know-how.
2:06 pm
[applause] president obama: but, when our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they are not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and making stuff up, while actual experts are dismissed as elitists, we have a problem. it is interesting that if we get sick we want to make sure the doctors have gone to medical school. they know what they are talking about. if we want to get on a plane, we we want pilots to be able to pilot the plane. and yet, in our public lives, we suddenly think, i don't want
2:07 pm
someone who has done it before. [laughter] [applause] president obama: the rejection of facts, the rejection of reason, that is the path to decline. it calls to mind the words of carl sagan, he said we can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good. the debate around climate change is a perfect example of this. i recognize it does not feel like the planet is warmer right now. [laughter] president obama: i understand. there was hail when i landed in newark. [laughter] but think about
2:08 pm
the climate change issue. every day, there are officials in high office, with responsibilities, who mock the overwhelming consensus of the world's scientists that human activities and the release of carbon dioxide and methane and other substances are altering our climate in profound and dangerous ways. a while back, you might have seen a united states senator trotted out a snowball in the middle of winter as proof that the world was not warming. i mean, listen, climate change is not something subject to political spin. there is evidence, there are facts, we can see it happening right now. if we don't act, if we don't follow through on the progress
2:09 pm
we made in paris and at home, your generation will feel the brunt of this catastrophe. it is up to you to insist on an informed debate. imagine if benjamin franklin had seen that senator with a snowball. what he would think. imagine if your fifth grade science teacher had seen that. [laughter] he would get a: "d." [laughter] president obama: and he is a senator. look, i'm not suggesting that cold analysis and hard data are ultimately more important then passion, faith, love or loyalty. i am suggesting that those highest expressions of our humanity can only flourish when our economy functions well and
2:10 pm
proposed budgets add up and our environment is protected. and to accomplish those things, to make collective decisions on behalf of a common good, we have to use our heads and agree that facts and evidence matter and hold our leaders and ourselves accountable to know what the heck they are talking about. [applause] president obama: all right. i only have two more points. i know it is getting cold and you guys have to graduate. [laughter] president obama: point four, have faith in democracy. i know it is not always pretty. really, i know -- [laughter] president obama: i have been living it. but it is how we have made progress in this nation. it is how we banned child labor, cleaned up our
2:11 pm
air and water, passed social security and medicare. none of these changes happen overnight. it was not because a charismatic leader got everybody to agree on everything. it did not happen because of a massive political revolution. it actually happened over the course of years, of advocacy, and organizing. and alliance building. and dealmaking. and the changing of public opinion. it happened because ordinary americans who cared participated in the political process. [applause] >> [inaudible] [applause]
2:12 pm
president obama: that's nice, i helped. [laughter] president obama: look, if you want to change this country for the better, you better start participating. i will give you an example on a lot of people's minds, the growing inequality in our economy. over much of the last century, we have unleashed the strongest economic engine the world has ever seen, but over the past two decades, our economy has become more and more unequal. the top 10% of earners take in half of all income in the u.s. in the past, a top ceo made 20 times the average worker. today, it is 300 times. wages are not rising for millions of hard-working families. if we want to reverse those trends, there are a bunch of policies that would make a big difference. we could raise the minimum wage. [applause] president obama: we could modernize our infrastructure.
2:13 pm
we can invest in early childhood education. we can make college more affordable. [applause] president obama: we can close tax loopholes on hedgefund managers and use that money to give tax breaks to help families with childcare or retirement. and if we did these things, we would help to restore the sense of hard workers and build an that hard work is and the economy works for everybody. the reason some of these things have not happened, even though the majority of people approve, is really simple. it is not because i wasn't proposing them. it wasn't because the facts and evidence showed they wouldn't work. it was because a huge chunk of americans, especially young people, do not vote. in 2014, voter turnout was the lowest since world war ii. fewer than one in five young people showed up to vote.
2:14 pm
2014. the four who stayed home determined the course of this country just as much as the one who voted. apathy has consequences. it determines who are congress our congress is, what policies they prioritize. it even, for example, determines whether a fully highly qualified supreme court nominee receives the courtesy of a vote in the united states senate. [applause] president obama: yes, big money in politics is a huge problem. we have got to reduce its influence. yes, special interests and lobbyists have disproportionate access. but, contrary to what we hear both from the left and right, the system is not as
2:15 pm
rigged as you think and is not as hopeless as you think. politicians care about being elected, and especially reelected. if you vote and elect a politician that represents the majority of your views, you will get what you want. if you opt out or stop paying attention, you won't. it is that simple. it is not that complicated. [applause] president obama: one of the reasons people do not vote is because they do not see the changes they were looking for right away. well, guess what, none of the great strides in our history happened right away. it took thurgood marshall and the naacp decades to win brown v board of education. and then another decade after ing act secure the vot and civil rights act.
2:16 pm
it took more time after that for it to start working. it took a proud daughter in new jersey years of organizing marches and hunger strikes and protests and drafting hundreds of pieces of legislation and working with congressional leaders before she and other suffragists helped win women the vote. [applause] president obama: each stage along the way required compromise. sometimes you took half. you forged allies. sometimes you lost on an issue and then you came back to fight another day. that is how democracy works. you have got to be committed to participating not just to get immediate gratification, you have to be a citizen full-time, all the time. if participation means voting and compromise and organizing and advocacy, it also means
2:17 pm
listening to those who do not agree with you. i know a couple of years ago, folks on this campus got upset that condoleezza was supposed to speak at commencement. i don't think it's a secret that i disagree with many of the ies of dr. rice and many policies from that administration. the notion that this community or country would not be served by hearing her or shutting out what she had to say, i believe that is misguided. i don't think that's how democracy works best, when we are not even willing to listen to each other. [applause] president obama: i believe that is misguided. if you disagree with somebody, bring them in and ask them tough questions. hold their feet to the fire and make them defend their positions. if somebody has a bad or
2:18 pm
offensive idea, prove it wrong. it.ge it, debate stand up for what you believe in. don't be scared to take somebody on. don't feel like you got to check shut your ears off because you are too fragile and somebody might offend your sensibilities. go at them. if they are not making any sense. use your logic and reason and words. you will strengthen your position and hone your arguments and maybe you will learn something and realize you do not know everything. and you may have a new understanding, not only of what your opponents believe, but what you believe. either way, you win. and more importantly, our democracy wins. [applause] president obama: so, anyway, all right. that's it, class of 2016. a few suggestions on how you can change the world.
2:19 pm
except maybe i have one last suggestion. just one. [applause] president obama: gear yourself for the long haul. whatever path you choose, business, nonprofit, government, education, health care, the arts, whatever it is, you are going to have setbacks. you will deal occasionally with foolish people. you will be frustrated. you will have a boss that is not great. you won't always get everything you want, at least not as fast as you want it. you have to be persistent. and success, however small and incomplete, success is still --
2:20 pm
i always tell my daughters, better is good. it may not be perfect or great, but it is good. that is how progress happens, in society and our own lives. don't lose hope. sometimes you hit a roadblock. don't lose hope in the face of naysayers and certainly don't let resistance make you cynical. cynicism is so easy and cynics don't accomplish much. as a friend of mine who happens to be from new jersey, a guy named bruce springsteen, once said -- [applause] president obama: they spend their lives waiting for a moment that just don't come. don't let that be you, don't waste your time waiting. if you doubt you can make a difference, look at the impact your fellow graduates are already making.
2:21 pm
look at what matthew is doing. look at jasmine, who helps kids deal with bullying, and muslim bias and discrimination. [applause] president obama: look at somebody like madison little, who grew up dealing with health issues and started wondering what his care would be like if you live somewhere else. he took charge of a student nonprofit and work with people in australia and cambodia to address the aids epidemic. our generation has a much energy to adapt and impact the world. my peers give me hope that we will overcome the obstacles in society. that is you. is it any wonder i am optimistic?
2:22 pm
throughout our history, a new generation of americans has reached up and bent the arc of history in the direction of more freedom and opportunity and justice. class of 2016, it is your turn now to shape our nation's destiny. as well as your own. so, get to work. make sure the next 250 years are better than the last. good luck. god bless you. god bless this country we love. [applause] thank you, everybody. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
2:23 pm
>> the president at rutgers a few weeks ago. today, president obama was at arlington national's hair money for the traditional wreathlaying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown. arlington national cemetery. we will show you the ceremony again tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. members of congress participating in memorial day ceremonies and parades across the country. senator warren hatch tweeting --
2:24 pm
--n mccain deb fischer from nebraska -- congressman from illinois -- york -- gins of new also on this memorial day, we are showing you commencement speeches from across the country as colleges and universities in the past couple of weeks or so -- maria juris week contreras-sweet delivered this year's commencement address at whittier college in caliphate.
2:25 pm
she told graduates to rely on the support of their family and friends. >> all right. far?s everybody doing so awake, class of 2016? of you forhank all the gracious invitation to be with you here today. you brought me back home. thank you so much. [applause] what a joy itt: is to be with you at this very moment. how many of you know what the cabinet actually does?
2:26 pm
any of you ever watch madam secretary? veep? house of cards? , now i know who has the ratings. it is not like that, but it is truly a remarkable journey from halls here to walking the of washington, d.c. and traveling the world representing the united states of america. [applause] contreras-sweet: i have the best job at cabinet. i provide the voice for the small business. those who create two out of three net new jobs, employ half
2:27 pm
the workforce and have built a momentum of 74 months of consecutive job growth that has never happened in the history of our country. thank you to the entrepreneurs, the small businesses. [applause] contreras-sweet: it is truly a privilege today to become an honorary poet from the very distinguished whittier college. i will wear my purple and gold ever so proudly. honored guests, family and friends and you, our graduates launch,who are ready to today is it. end and a beginning. you say goodbye to late night ing and to spring sayin
2:28 pm
the rock. today, you step off the precipice and into your futures. it is exhilarating, terrifying and the bittersweet come all at once. i know the hard work you have put in, the weight has been long , the path uncertain at times. on this beautiful day, a little warm, you are a few speeches away and a short walk from holding your degree. congratulations. i know how hard you work, how much you sacrificed. pressures arethe incredible and too much to endure. you found a way to keep going.
2:29 pm
but let's remember, you did not do it alone. today is about your achievement and the realization of your dreams, but also about the fulfillment of your family by streams for you. family's dreams for you. please give your family and friends a big round of applause. [applause] contreras-sweet: yes! that's right. all right. go.e you , i stand before you, not only as a former community banker, as a businesswoman and a
2:30 pm
newer, the president's voice of entrepreneurship, but as a fellow californian -- one thing's for sure, you cannot possibly know what life will row at you the next day. -- throw at you the next day. the wind is at your back. there are three things you cannot count on. can count on. the love of family and friends. they will continue to propel you forward, particularly in those feel if the you only direction you are moving and is backwards. second, you can count on yourself. what makes you special? what distinguishes you from others? in business, we call it your unique value proposition. do a self-assessment and understand what those strengths
2:31 pm
are. how you distinguish yourself. in business 101, we call it the swat analysis. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. strengths and weaknesses are about you, opportunities and threats are about the world out there and what you make of it. you don't have to be going into business to make a business plan. if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. start where you hope to end up and build it backwards. this time is not the time to set modest goals. the degree you received today will open many doors from this
2:32 pm
prestigious university that you have the courage to turn the key and walk through that door. you can count on this place, the united states of america, los angeles, california, the place you have called home. where you were nurtured and supported and where you learned and continue to grow. you are learning in the of the 21st century economy, california is the bellwether state. this is where trends begin come and they grow over to massachusetts and new york and eventually ripple through the rest of the country in the world. you are the very essence of what a harbinger represents. you are the ones setting the transparent around the world, people ask me about people in southern california.
2:33 pm
you've been steeped in something very important. you've been in a plurality of cultures and backgrounds and perspectives. people who are black and white, people who are red and yellow, red and green. in california, we always count our environmentalists. you been grounded in the financial desk fundamental belief that everyone has unique gifts to share. think about the movements that that emanated from the rock. . painted message, we love you a painted ribbon and the words "you are not alone." here in los angeles, you live among people who come from 180 different countries who speak
2:34 pm
140 different languages. hub of theis the pacific rim. california today represents the eighth largest economy. our state par outranks the rest -- we rank in the top five for entrepreneurial activity in the nation. here, you are part of that heritage, a part of the drift that makes this area so strong because you have perseverance and determination. at an advantage because you come from a college and a region where minorities are actually the majority. those of us that come from other ies or those of us who aren't as tall as we wish we are
2:35 pm
, whatever the difference -- when i first got here from guadalajara, i cannot speak a word of english. struggling, i remember my schoolteacher i don'tmy ear it i said think i belong here, i don't understand anything and she said , "stay with it, bring others along." the power of generosity. in third grade, i wrote to her, i just come in third grade hall monitor. ,t is not the titles you have it is what you do with the titles you have that matters. lessons an important
2:36 pm
from my beautiful i believe the abuelita.ul i learned the importance of learning the language of business, finance, of knowing my numbers, putting numbers up on the board every week that allowed me to grow and become an officer of the company and eventually an equity partner. the next lesson, the powers of language. later on, i decided to start my own company. i saw that there were so many small businesses that were not getting business, that were not growing. the governor asked me to be the secretary for the state of
2:37 pm
for the department of transportation. that was cool. what i learned was, small businesses could not to get theto capital contracts i was putting out -- we are putting up billions of dollars of work and they said we cannot get access to capital. i did what every woman wants to andwhen she sees a problem i wants to solve it, i did it bank --started my own the power of the network, i called on 25 girlfriends who helped me build that bank and raise the capital.
2:38 pm
having a powerful network really came into play. i was asked to serve on a corporate board, breaking the glass ceiling. i was proud that i was in a corporate one of directors. -- board of directors. remember my grandmother's .esson, bring others along we found it a brand-new foundation, a philanthropic toanization and helps improve the health status of californians and today, that organization remains strong and is changing the lives for so many who don't have access to all of the, affordable health care. -- access to quality, affordable health care. , i was called by
2:39 pm
-- that is what i want you to do for our country. the global nature of our economy , do not just think about what is available at the next door or the next community. y is that yourtie marketplace is borderless. you can connect and use the wind to your back to connect to people from the western hemisphere much of the latin american countries -- to the latin american countries. i recently traveled to el salvador and argentina and cuba. i traveled with the president on the historic visit to cuba.
2:40 pm
they all want to meet you and do business with you. areof the world's consumers outside the u.s. imagine if you only do business in this country, you've only got 5% of the market is. -- of the marketplace. was thatmy last lesson i matter, that my voice matters and so does yours. wherever you go, speak with confidence because you are from the rock. have pride, dignity and confidence in what you can contribute. they're seeking people who speak other linkages, who have cultural competencies to reach those markets.
2:41 pm
soar, soar, soar. ,n writing to my grandmother maria.", "keep at it, although my family has had a history of being migrant workers , i've seen your mother work in -- in a that's paltry plant. processing i believe that someday you will be able to work in an office and to be a secretary. her prayers were answered. office and aing cabinet secretary. [applause]
2:42 pm
contreras-sweet: these are the opportunities that only california can harvest with such bounty and i believe those are the opportunities that present themselves to you. go out with a few lessons i shared and all that you have learned from your family and runs and from the poet, go out and conquer the world. i want to leave you with two of my favorite quotes. one is from steve jobs who said "your time is limited, do not waste it living someone else's life. don't let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice. have the courage to follow your heart and your own intuition." 'sthank you, president degioia, your own intuition."
2:43 pm
saidartin luther king "what good is it to be able to sit at the counter if you are not able to buy a hamburger?" market anddvance economic rights, social andlity, deepen democracy raise the middle class. let's go back and buy the .estaurant god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [applause]
2:44 pm
>> commerce secretary penny pritzker was the commencement speaker at georgetown university's school of business. she encouraged graduates to challenge themselves and spoke about the importance of one's reputation and business. this is 15 minutes. [applause] secretary pritzker: thank you very much, president degioia, for this honor. it is really an honor to receive this degree. it is also wonderful to be here with our esteemed graduates on what feels like the first nice
2:45 pm
d.c. day in weeks. the world that i entered as a 25-year-old business school graduate was a bit different than the one you are entering . i understand one of the new classes offered to you as a student is "strategic management of social networks." when i was in business school, mark zuckerberg hadn't been born yet. and the closest thing i had to a social network was a rolodex. trust me, you are so lucky to have missed the era when business operated at the speed of fax machines, pagers, and "while you were out" sticky notes. while the business world has changed a great deal since then, the keys to success are largely the same. each of you has earned an mba from one of the most prestigious business schools in the country.
2:46 pm
a school whose mission is to turn you into, and i quote, "ethically responsible and effective business leaders." you should take pride in the hard work that brought you to this moment. but you would not be here today without your support system. so let's take a moment to give your parents, your families, and your friends a big round of applause. [applause] secretary pritzker: georgetown has armed you with a strong foundation and the personal network required to succeed. but whether or not you become an "ethically responsible and effective business leader" will ultimately depend on the choices you make over the course of your
2:47 pm
working life. do you have integrity and the awareness that every decision you make will impact your reputation? do you have the vision to understand the long-term needs of your company and the courage to overcome your mistakes in pursuit of that vision? are you using your influence as a business leader to be a force for good in your community? when i started in business, both my grandfather and mother told me, "there are only two things you take with you throughout -- your education and your reputation. nothing else is guaranteed." when you receive your diploma today, your formal education is completed.
2:48 pm
but your reputation? that is something you will have to nurture your entire life. think of your reputation as your biggest asset. in today's increasingly digital world, where mistakes and triumphs alike are immortalized on social media and in your google search history, managing that asset is harder than ever. as you begin your careers, you need to start building your reputation from day one. there is no honeymoon period. i am not just referring to obeying the law, but to the way you treat people and how you behave. if you conduct yourself with integrity and kindness, i promise you, your reputation will serve as the bedrock on
2:49 pm
which you build your career, and you will have control of your narrative. today, i want to tell you two stories about the power of choice, and how the choices you make will shape your life. let me begin with the story of my first business, which i started when i was 27 years old, two years after i graduated with a jd-mba. both of my parents had passed away, and i was responsible for taking care of my grandmother. one day, i realized that there must be people like me all over the country, who not only had to care for an aging family member, but with the added challenge of raising children. i am a data person, so i did my research and discovered that a product was missing. with a lot of help, i started vi senior living. sounds like a recipe for success, right?
2:50 pm
unfortunately, i made every mistake in the book. some of the early product development was not precisely right. i hired people who did not share my work ethic or my values and vision for the company. and the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980's made it hard for our customer to sell their home and afford our product. things were not going well, and i was absolutely terrified. i went to my uncle, my mentor and the chairman of the company, and said, "this is not going to work, we should liquefy the company." but my uncle, in all his wisdom, told me not to panic and to look at the long-term prospects. he understood the big picture: .
2:51 pm
we were about to undergo a massive demographic shift in our country as the baby boomers moved into their 70's and beyond. so, we re-tooled our approach, revised the product, and hired better talent whose values were more in line with the mission of the company. changing our approach was not easy. it was really hard. it took not just the recognition that we needed to pivot, but the perseverance to make significant shifts. and today, vi is an innovative leader in senior living. and the lessons that i learned from that experience have informed my entire life. like me, over the course of your career, you are going to make mistakes. big mistakes. don't panic. be confident. if your idea is good, don't let
2:52 pm
it be derailed by the missteps you will inevitably make along the way. my experience with vi taught me to look beyond the immediate challenges, beyond the quarterly earnings report, and take the long view. i also learned that business is a team sport. and you must be intentional about the talent you choose. to get it right, though, first, you need to know yourself, to know your strengths and your weaknesses. for example, i am good with numbers, sales, and tactics, but i struggle with marketing, branding, and strategy. find a team who fills in your gaps and complements your talents, because the people you surround yourself with are the key to your long-term success.
2:53 pm
this brings me to my second story. a good friend of mine is the ceo of a fortune 100 company. like many companies in today's economy, his business has a large number of job openings, but too few people have the specialized skills needed to fill those positions. he told me a couple weeks ago , we were together having "i amast and he said constantly approached about looking for jobs, but do not have the skills they need to succeed." my friend knew that might be
2:54 pm
charitable in the short term, but would not end well and would not be sustainable for those he hired or his company. he understood that his community needs more than charity. it needs a thoughtful, entrepreneurial solution to a systemic problem. so, the ceo is considering setting up an academy to give people in his community not only the skills they need to succeed at his company, but the skills needed for long-term success. he wants to build this academy in the poorest part of the city, and he plans to invite other companies in his sector to participate. keep in mind,- he's talking about working with with whom he has to
2:55 pm
compete, who are all fighting for the same market share and the same new hires. and yet, my friend wants to bring them to the table to develop a holistic solution that actually works for both businesses and workers. i have met a lot of business leaders in my life, and the ones who i admire and remember are those who are committed to their community. make no mistake, being committed to your community is not inconsistent with being an extraordinarily successful business leader. in fact, it enhances your reputation, the bedrock of your success. you move up the ladder, you are going to find yourself becoming more and more responsible for the wellbeing of the people of your neighborhood, your city, and your region. as a business leader, you will have the power to become a force for good. the question is what you choose to do with that influence. just look at what happened in georgia earlier this year, when
2:56 pm
governor deal vetoed a so-called "religious liberties" bill following pressure from disney, time warner, salesforce, and others. whether you spend your entire career in the private sector or take a detour into public sector, like i did, you will have the ability to not just affect our economy but to affect the very fabric of our nation. as a famous jesuit you may have heard of and one of my personal heroes has said, let me quote pope francis, "business is a vocation, and a noble vocation , provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by the greater meaning in life." challenge yourself to a greater meaning in life.
2:57 pm
become a force for good. seize the opportunity afforded to you as a business leader to change our country and our world for the better. so, congratulations to the georgetown university mcdonough school of business class of 2016. i wish you all the success in the world. hoya saxa! [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] huerta has been in -- his speechfaa focused on technological advances in the aviation and is industry --ation
2:58 pm
technological advances in the aviation industry. >> good morning and thank you. thank you for this exceptional recognition. i cannot tell you how much it means to me. to all of you parents who have been through so much to see your sons and daughters here today. thank you to the distinguished guests, faculty, friends and family and most of all, thank you to the students. it is an honor and privilege to be addressing the class of 2016. i know the road to get here probably was not easy. many of you are part of the first generation of your family to go to college and reach this milestone. i know what it feels like. that was my story as well.
2:59 pm
i grew up in a little place called riverside, california. although both my parents were born in this country, neither of them spoke english until they went to school. my dad did not finish high school. but my parents were big, big believers in the power of education. they instilled that belief into their children, my three sisters and myself. they taught us that learning equals opportunity. there was never a question in their mind as to whether we were going to go to college. we would and we did. what i remember the most clearly from my graduation day was the look on my parents faces. and a bitso proud relieved that they could call me a college graduate. they were thrilled about what this account was meant that
3:00 pm
accomplishment meant for future generations of our family. i see that same look on the faces of many parents, many siblings and i know that getting here required hard work and sacrifice on the part of you to graduates, and your families. and so really, congratulations to all of you. today is the culmination of your .ime here at vaughn you've got a top-notch education in your entering the industry had a very unique moment in our history. aviation is safer than it has ever been. we have practically eliminated all the common historical causes of accidents. our work is a model for aviation authorities all around the world.
3:01 pm
and at the same time, we all know that technology is changing our industry at work speed and it's showing no sign of slowing down. in fact, aviation has changed very dramatically just in the .ime that you have been here back in 2012, unmanned aircraft were, if you pardon the expression, barely a blip on the radar. today my friend got her boy santa for christmas. i've even seen a flying drone taxi. islding on our safety record getting more challenging all the time. had we ensure that our airspace is going to work for everyone who wants to use it? and how do we do that without stifling innovation?
3:02 pm
we grapple with answers to those questions each and every day at the faa. we are working in an industry that is used to operating in black and white. but more and more, the scenarios that we are dealing with our shades of gray. you have probably been talk that risk is a bit of a dirty word in aviation. we don't like it. we try to root it out in any way we can. going to let you in on a little secret. our industry needs more risk takers. we need people who will challenge the conventional wisdom. we need people to think outside of the box. to ask questions that we are not considering to operate in those gray areas. are responsible for
3:03 pm
some of the greatest feats we have had in aviation. the right brothers defined the excepted science of their day when they designed and built the first airplane, and they proved it was possible to take off and then to land in one piece. push theindbergh boundaries of what we thought aircraft are capable of when he completed his nonstop flight across the atlantic ocean in a single engine airplane. it againaire heart did when she became the first person to fly solo across the pacific -- amelia ehrhardt did it when she became the first person to fly solo across the pacific ocean. spacex recently the size of arge football field, and then he did it again. that feat alone will reduce the
3:04 pm
cost of rocket launches by about 70%. all of these advancements were made possible because someone's willing to ask a very simple weston. what if -- a very simple question, what if? inh a degree from vaughn your back pocket, you are ready to start answering some of those questions. only forxciting, not me as head of the faa, but for our entire aviation industry. because you are our next generation who will help us define what life can be and where it is going to take us in the 21st century. we need your ideas, we need your talent, and we need you to be risktakers. sometimes taking risks is incredibly scary. especially right now, when you
3:05 pm
are first starting out. revealingou're all the pressure to immediately get on the right path. maybe it seems, like there are 100 different doors to choose from. options canhose feel pretty paralyzing. you don't want to make a mistake. for others, it may seem like the specialized education you toeive has already wed you one industry, and you might be getting cold feet. no matter where you are, rest assured, it is normal. you are not supposed to have everything figured out right now. your future is going to be filled with unexpected opportunities and unanticipated setbacks. if you can accept that now, you can find a lot of freedom. i want to tell you a quick story about one woman and lives unpredictable turns. jerry cobb climbed
3:06 pm
into the cockpit of her dad's plane, she knew she wanted to follow him into the air. she got her commercial license today she turned 18, but there were not a lot of opportunities out there for a female pilot. 1949, and too many boys home from the war needed jobs. she didn't let that stop her. she took the gigs no one else wanted, and she spent time honing her skills. after setting records for speed, distance, and out to, and after becoming the first woman to fly at the paris air show, the opportunity to fly even higher than she had ever dreamed was presented to her. become part ofto the mercury 13, the first group of women to train as astronauts. but when the time came for nasa , theyect their crews
3:07 pm
decided that all potential astronauts needed military test pilot experience. since women were not allowed to fly in the military at that time, jeri and the rest of the mercury 13 were grounded. that would be devastating news for anybody, but she was pretty resilient. she found comfort in her lifelong passion for flight and she began performing work as a missionary in south america. years, shet 35 transported supplies to tribes in the amazon jungle and map new air routes to remote areas throughout south america. the world took notice of her humanitarian efforts and she was nominated for a nobel peace prize in 1981. you the storyg because i think you have to go
3:08 pm
out there and win the nobel prize. i'm sure everyone here at vaughn would not mind if you did. i'm telling you this because sometimes you are going to miss out on the dream job, or you are going to make a wrong turn, or you are going to need to start over. that's ok. you're going to have setbacks. it's how you deal with them that will define the height of your success. it's really easy to get hung up on having the right title or being associated with the most prestigious project. but when you move back on your career, what you are going to be more likely to remember is how your work affected people. your job is only one part of who you are. make time for your family, be there for the important moments, and never get so caught up in what you are doing that you forget why you are doing it. is vast and system
3:09 pm
a million moving pieces to it. but all of it, every single bit, can be traced back to one day. december 17, 1903, on a sandy stretch of the beach near kitty hawk, north carolina. on that day, orville and wilbur wright laid the first brick on what would become the foundation for our industry. and people like trolls lindbergh and elon musk have been building on it ever since then. for the last four years, you have studied all the great who came before you and you have learned from your own mentors here at vaughn college. now it's time to make your own contributions to the great legacy of american aviation and american aerospace. defined by't just be
3:10 pm
those contributions. one day it's going to be your turn to give back and help cultivate a new crop of risk takers. kidarantee you, some bright someday is going to call you up for device, and you may be too busy. you are going to wonder what you could possibly say to them that they would find useful. take that call anyway, because that conversation will have the potential to change someone's life. and that is how you build your legacy in this industry. by taking risks, by pursuing work that matters, and help the next generation do more than you could ever dream of. so congratulations to the class of 2016, and welcome to this industry. [applause]
3:11 pm
>> our campaign 2016 bus continues to travel throughout the country to recognize winners from this your student camp competition. inently the bus stopped massachusetts to visit several winning students from that state. they went to the same school in foxborough were all the students attended a school ceremony to for theirwinners honorable mention video entitled "gunning for safety." another winning video was called "veteran services." were honored in front of their classmates, family members, and local elected officials, receiving 200 and two dollars for their winning video. to our cablenks
3:12 pm
partners for helping coordinate these visits in the community. you can view all the winning documentaries at student camp.org. look at 2016 commitment speeches continues this memorial day with the head of the environmental protection agency, gina mccarthy. later, attorney general loretta lynch, followed by fbi director james comey. epa administrator gina mccarthy told graduates of vermont law school to consider careers in public service. she spoke about the administration's actions on climate change. this is 25 minutes. [applause] gina: thank you, students, you rock.
3:13 pm
hello vermont law school lawyers. i have to start by saying two things. one is congratulations to all the masters, you don't intimidate me at all. i have one of those. [laughter] i want to also admit right up front i'm not a lawyer and really never liked lawyers until very recently. actually, sometimes i do. but if i were to describe my anxiety dream, it would be filled with lawyers. [laughter] and i am in washington, living that dream today. [applause] , and reallyly fun it is an incredible honor to be can sharehopefully i of few words of wisdom, but the most important one is to ask you if you're working in government or outside to keep the mission that drove you to this school.
3:14 pm
embrace it, never let it go, because it is a mission that this world needs more people, especially young people to embrace, because the future is yours. i screwed it up, you have to fix it. that's the way it is. embrace the challenge. for you today it's the culmination of years of study. you have learned to trust trouncetorts, and to your taxes. you learn firsthand what it means to be arbitrary and capricious as you watch professed her firestone thro talk at the wall. watched professor firestone throw chalk at the wall. do me a little bit of a favor and just take a few seconds to feel proud of yourself. --lly, you are graduating
3:15 pm
you are not just graduating from any school, you are graduating from for my law school, and vermont law school's energy law program has been ranked number one 17 of the last 24 years, and it has never ranked lower than 2 . you are amazing. [applause] and i know when i want to pick a longer that will make me most anxious, i go to you guys because you are going to do one of two things. you are either going to do exactly what i say, or you are going to tell me how i can get done what i want to do. either one is fine with me, just don't be the boring type of lawyer that tells me everything talk't do, because then i -- then i turn into charlie -wah-wah. it is wha so we are going to have great fun together.
3:16 pm
i know all of you are especially proud, your family, friends, they have supported you as you turned into whiny faces, wondering if you would get through your first year being absolutely miserable. -- do sells a favor yourselves a favor and clap for everyone who's or did you along the way. the good news is, they didn't is on you or disavow you, so it is time at this like to welcome you back to the human race. you have to leave this lovely little community and go face the it isd world again, but really the start of the next chapter in your life. what i really want you to do most is embrace that. just embrace it. the uncertainty is just great. stop dwelling on it, don't get anxious. live in thatyou to
3:17 pm
uncertainty for the rest of your life because it constantly challenges you to do something ,ifferent and better, to learn to keep conquering. that's what you really need to do if you want to have a continuously rich life, is to live on the edge. i live on it every single day, unfortunately, and i all off on numerous occasions, but really, for the past three years you've been learning the rules of the road. you been learning the legal boundaries that you need to know , but right now it's all about getting into that real-world and starting to test those boundaries, and starting to test yourself, to see where life leads you. it's time to get creative, is time to think about what you can do to make sure that business as usual doesn't remain business as usual. your job is to always challenge that. [applause]
3:18 pm
and i will tell you that life gets most interesting when you decide not to settle for business as usual. that's where you definitely won't be boring. this school has given you all you need to actually get in the game now. doors for you. unless you think business as usual is just i, then start embracing the opportunities that are open to you, that this college has provided to you, and you must go out and make the world more just. ourmust go out and make children healthier. you have to give us more sustainable options moving forward and you have to work hard to make the world a safer place. , youame here to do that have to exit the same way. you want to exit the world the same way. continuing to drive that forward. and i'm so confident that you can do this.
3:19 pm
in graduatingt classes from this college time and again. i cannot tell you how many came from this school. actually, i lied. i can. 69 are now currently working at epa. [applause] and you are indistinguishable from the other mission driven crazy 15,000 human beings at work at epa. so really think big. now is the time to get excited about what life has to offer, not to get anxious about it. just look at my boss, president obama. he was a constitutional law professor. how borings that? [laughter] but he has not been boring. well for pretty damn himself and for us. [applause]
3:20 pm
today for the first time in this country, over nine in 10 americans have health insurance. today anyone in america can marry whomever they want to marry. [applause] students in the u.s. are now graduating high school at a higher rate than ever. our economy is in the midst of the longest streak of robert sector job growth on record with over 73lion jobs added straight months. i like this one, we are less reliant on foreign oil than we have been in nearly three decades, and guess what? last december in paris, nations joincross the world together and made a commitment to act on climate. i am done with feelings, we've got to get action, and they are doing it. [applause] thiswhat made all of
3:21 pm
incredible progress possible? a couple of things. one is i have a president who is as mission driven his you are. he is unwilling to settle business as usual. gina, put one, your sneakers because we are running across the finish line. duckery in this administration. in the face of a congress -- had why put this nicely? that is reluctant to act, our president has embraced the authorities that are already embedded in our laws and has used that to advance policies that reflect all of our core thiss, what has made country so great, what has given us the kind of life that we have enjoyed, and he has taken action to protect our kids, to protect our families, and to protect our planet. this has been an enormous gift to me to be part of this.
3:22 pm
it, justink about focus on what we've been able to do on climate change. just look at the historic actions that i have been lucky enough to be a part of, whether a work at the state, local, or the federal level. we have been driving shoes on climate for ages. finally, the federal government of the united states of america is leading this charge, not just a mystically, but internationally. the epa finding that never would have happened had it not been for massachusetts epa. i'm so glad that my commonwealth of massachusetts kicked the butt epa on that one. you go where the mission drives you. it opened the doors to is such incredible strong climate action in this country, and that door will never be shut again.
3:23 pm
greenhouse gas standards for light duty, heavy-duty vehicles, finalizedandfill, we our clean power plan, the nation's first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power thets, a few haven't read briefs we submitted on that clean power plant, read it, it will restore your faith in government. it is strong, it is powerful. we will win all the way up through the supreme court. [applause] plant change the dynamic in paris, and make no mistake about it, we are hanging on to that and we are going to continue to run forward. so this president is not one of those boring lawyers. he is a bit challenging. and i can say that working on climate change has never been boring. to firstas generated
3:24 pm
of a kind legal decisions, interesting ones, one from the supreme court and a more recent one from the d.c. court. i will admit that i would rather be board every once in a while, but we will deal with these issues moving forward, and i'm excited about the work that we have to do. but we all can't wait for anything, to get the work done that we need to do to keep our kids future secure, and to continue to make progress on public health, because after all, epa is a public health agency. that is what we do for a living. and we have real work to do and real challenges to face, and we are not going to wait for instructions from congress. they may never come. we are not relying solely on voluntary measures. they hitting the job done. getting the job done.
3:25 pm
statutes have led to such tremendous improvements in quality of life for all of us. vermont law school has given all of you, whether you are a master's in understanding the policies that are necessary to move us forward, or understanding the toolbox and the knowledge and skill set that the law provides in this college has given you. an interesting position to be really part of this change moving forward. set this country on a sustainable course for the future. it is your time right now. you have to go with this. bad, butanxiety is embrace this anxiety. maybe don't know how to get it done, but keep moving. don't go back. circles are not fun, either. try to go forward. [laughter] you can figure it out. sniff it out.
3:26 pm
you will know where you are supposed to go. but you are the leaders. you are trained to harness the power of the law to move beyond the status oh. while in a democracy like yours, and i've been working in this democracy for 35 years now, it does move slowly, but it does move. and change can happen. it is built layer by layer, action by action. hardware, science, the law. all of that is the foundation. we are't forget government of the people, for the people, and by the people. you've got to make people eventually demand the sustainable change that you think is necessary. so while you may be smarty-pants about where you want to go, smarty-pants about how to get there, you need to bring at least 1000 people with you when you want to accomplish it, because that's what the united states democracy demands. that's the system we live in. that is the system we love.
3:27 pm
that is your challenge. so tackled tough issues like climate. you can make a difference. you can make it work. there is no challenge more complicated than the challenge of climate change. it's about the fundamental way that we chose to grow in this is tidy. talk about the challenge of explaining why one degree matters. people think great, summer will, little earlier. no, not great. but i think people now get it. it. people have gotten we have managed to explain it and also manage to understand that they are feeling it already. climate change impacts all of us. it's not just about glaciers and polar bears. it is way more personal. it's about our health, our economy, our national security. it's really about our moral responsibility to protect our
3:28 pm
kids'future. so even in d.c. can make progress on things like climate change. we even have the pope on our side. [applause] and he rides around in this focus, depending on what country he is driving around in, i think. that we also have incredible solutions today. interesting point in time for you to be graduating. not only have we managed to double at how to gallon of gasoline, how far can go, we are producing a lot of vehicles that don't need it. i had the opportunity to be at the tesla manufacturing facility. i met with elon musk. i did not understand a word he said. he actually did not understand a word i said, either. [laughter]
3:29 pm
these things take time to build relationships. received already 700,000 orders for their new $35,000 vehicle that is coming out next year. triple the amount of electric vehicles on the road in the united states. they come with a $1000 check. either really stupid or really committed, or they should be committed, i don't know. against competitive fossil fuels. we have utilities that are buying the energy people are generating on the rooftops. we have a level of innovation that is unprecedented and our markets are shifting with those innovations as they come out in the market and make their way to human beings who care about these issues.
3:30 pm
in 2015, if you're worried about what other countries are doing, global investment in renewable energy hit a world record at $286 billion. that's more than twice the investment that the world spent on fossil fuel. so if you think it's just the u.s., you are wrong. faster the u.s. over industry thed nearly 12 times average economy. this is where the jobs of the future are. with a long-term extension of renewable tax credit, we can continue to see this moving forward. we are really at a time when you can go out there and make your own way in a world that is changing, and a world where that changes heading in the right direction, and you can make that change sustainable and move that forward, if you continue to have the mission that brought you to this wonderful school. you are the generation that is
3:31 pm
the most technologically savvy, globally aware, socially conscious generation in history. time whenerging at a there is incredible innovation and progress. theynto that this skill have learned right here at vermont law school and you are already a force to be reckoned with. so don't slither into a job interview, go there with your head held high and get the job you want to get. [applause] as i end, i want to ask you a couple of rings and maybe give a little bit of advice. first i want to ask you to think about going into public service. i have been doing this for a long time. i will readily admit that you will never get rich, so if that is part of your mission, bother.
3:32 pm
i don't see that changing over the long haul. but if you really want a rich live, public service will provide that to you. it's just amazing. [applause] think about the choices you have. 65 vermont law school alone out of about 1000 attorneys that run around doing remarkably crazy but successful things. the phrase dream team is how we describe our office of. best in-houseed environmental team for the last two years in a row. [applause] they gett is because an awful lot of practice, and i will account for much of that. like davidt feels and goliath. i was looking at the clean power plan litigation.
3:33 pm
the list of attorneys representing the plaintiffs went to 22 pages. that is probably as many people as we actually have in epa. important, -- i guarantee there will be more lawsuits to follow. we are going to keep doing important work, and in the united states, when you do important work, people will sue you. that's the way it works. [applause] my last two tiny pieces of , i want to give you just two small pieces. first of all, as you are thinking about your future and planning what you want to do next, make sure that as you are looking at opportunities that you are not writing off any that
3:34 pm
are not in your program plan. i know too many people who think i'm going here, and the next thing i'm going to do is there and the next thing is there. incrediblynded by interesting opportunities that they never thought they would want to take. if a door opens to you, walk through it. it may prove to be the most interesting thing you have ever change your future for. so don't set a plan that blinds you to the really cool things that are out there. i will absolutely guarantee you i never planned to be epa administrator, and i plan to run january and go to the next interesting thing that comes along. because you never know your journey in life. so don't shut doors. the last thing is, be comfortable being uncomfortable. i know that sounds stupid. maybe it is, and i should
3:35 pm
probably quit here, but this is really sort of, i think about what the dean was talking about, anxiety is really actually great. it keeps you on your toes. if you go out and take a job that you know you can do, just because you know you can do it, then you are selling yourself short. i want you to take the job that you are not sure you can do, because in that job, it's going to push you. it will force you to learn and grow. it will force you to confront new ideas and challenges. that's what you want to do every single time. inif you don't have anxiety the evening, create anxiety in the daytime. give yourself credit. you have made it through one of the most prestigious law schools in the world. you have come here because you have a mission where you are going to be a vital cause in our
3:36 pm
ability to keep our planet safe and to keep my kids future and my grandchildren's future staple in -- stable and happy with an opportunity to be healthy. you came here to make this society more just. you will succeed as long as you challenge yourself, stick with that mission, and remember where you came from and you never lose it. i'm so grateful that you came here, i'm so thankful that you got through it, and i am so excited to be able to hand over the world to this generation of leaders. thank you very much. [applause]
3:37 pm
>> all this memorial day, our presentation of commencement beaches from across the country continues with attorney general loretta lynch. she spoke to the all female spelmanng class at college in georgia. this is 20 minutes. [applause] >> good afternoon, graduate. good afternoon, family members. good afternoon everyone who is here to celebrate these remarkable women. , presidento much campbell, for that warm introduction, but also for your tremendous leadership, not just at spelman college, but the entire film -- spelman
3:38 pm
sisterhood, a family that spans generations, stretches across borders, and goes around the globe, all blossoming from a tree planted 135 years ago. that we also acknowledge chairman brewer and the spelman board of trustees for their stewardship of this great institution, and let me also salute a few of your members i've had the privilege of meeting earlier today. your class president and my future colleague in the law, your student government and all the work she has done over this year, and my stage, yourr on the valedictorian, faith kirkland. let me also salute the other award recipients today, sister
3:39 pm
precious mohammed who has lived a life of faith and service to others, as an inspiration to us all. and my fellow honorary degree recipient, stevie wonder. i have written some kind words to say, but i will simply quote the discussion that stevie had with my faller that my father earlier before we came down to this beautiful event. says there are some who preach the gospel through words and there are some who preach the gospel through music. but it's the same gospel. stevie, thank you for your message of love and faith in humanity, and love and faith in our possibility. ,ou have received many awards deservedly so, but i act that one of your most meaningful achievements is about to walk across the stage with her class ina few moments and join you
3:40 pm
obtaining a spelman degree. i'm so grateful to be here with all of you this afternoon. at -- it's an enormous privilege to receive an honorary degree from spelman college, but it's an even greater gift to be part of this happy occasion, to stand alongside all the professors, all the administrators, and the family members who have given so day,to help you reach this and to join him in congratulating you on this job. even though i have not been with them every step of the way for you, as they have, looking out at all of you, i joined them in saying how in credibly proud i am of all of you. 2016, congratulations. [applause]
3:41 pm
veryet me also extend a welcome and special acknowledgment to our most special guest, the families and the friends of our graduate. ,ou are all here to celebrate mothers, fathers, siblings, ,randparents, cousins, friends you are all here because that is what families do. we come together to commemorate the most special times in your lives. when you graduate, we graduate. i also suspect that we may have been on you graduates a little bit lately. maybe even a little bit more than usual. thishat's because all of is finally so real to all of us. we are finally seeing you as the women that you were born to be. even though we do know that you fly, you're ready
3:42 pm
to soar, we hold on just a pulle while longer and we and pride you and ask you all those questions. you want to live where? that is so far away. are you going to church? what's happening with that young man? why won't you accept my facebook friend request? [laughter] i leave you one, if with any advice today, don't accept it. just let it sit there. know it seems like we are actually holding on to you so tightly now, just when you are headed off into the world. but it's because even as we see you today in all your graduation glory, we also see you on your 1st avenue school, when you
3:43 pm
still held our hands across the street. listen andis, as you , as only a daughter can do, that all of our pride, all of our wes chewning, all of our hovering comes from a love and pride that is so deep and so boundless that when we look at you, it literally takes our breath away. if we wantorgive us to hold on just a little while longer, but we know that when we do let go and you hit the world, you will shine. it's also possible that when you take a look at the world that you are about to inherit, you may find yourself wanting to hold on a little bit longer as well. it is certainly true that we are in challenging times.
3:44 pm
we just are. we have ethnic strife across the globe. we have the largest wave of refugees into europe since world war ii. since world war ii. inh an attendant rise xenophobia and ethnic hatred that pulls at our darkest memories. our oceans are rising. our seas are warming. and in this country as well, right here at home, we faced threats to our our cyberecurity, to security, threats to our most vulnerable population. we had the challenges of building and strengthening the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the community. that is not a small task. we have the challenge of protecting the sacred right to vote. that is not a job we will ever drop.
3:45 pm
2 millionll have places in this beautiful country of ours -- too many places where our families and friends discrimination and harm because of where they are from, because of what they look like, because of where they worship, because of who they love, or because of something is profoundly simple and private as where they use the restroom. see all these challenges facing you, facing all of us, and they are indeed daunting. but let me tell you what else i see. i see a global recognition that we cannot allow the despots of the world to rest their feet on cks of their people. i see scientific advances that will change the way we live in the way we heal our health. as painful as the incidence are
3:46 pm
that have spurred all our outrage, i see a conversation on civil rights in this country the likes of which we have not had since the days of the civil rights movement itself. my faith in our ability to not just withstand but to conquer these challenges is bolstered by what else i see today. strong and480 motivated young women who have already decided to use their choices to change the world. [applause] i see the agents of change you are already committed to making a difference in their communities. i see brilliant and driven leaders, yes, all of you, with the potential to lead -- leave a lasting mark on the world.
3:47 pm
i see spelman graduates. you exude the poise, the elegance, and the confidence that this institution try -- strives to confer, the qualities that will mark you as a spelman woman for the rest of your life. but most importantly, i see a sisterhood, one that will stand ,ogether every step of the way no matter how difficult the circumstances, no matter how daunting the task. and i know that especially from where you sit today, the tasks ahead do seem daunting. but know this, we have been here before. we have faced fundamental challenges to our goodwill, to our very humanity, and we have prevailed. , ourtrength as a people strength as a country, has always been to turn great
3:48 pm
challenges into great opportunity, and many of our greatest advances in equal rights, in human rights, have searing pain and heartbreaking loss. this has never been easy, but we have always, always pushed ever on, and with every challenge we face, with every milestone we overcome, we come just a little bit closer to that essential dream of this country. we have held the equality of all men to be self-evident. we have fought to maintain a government by the people, for the people, and of the people, and we have followed a dream deeply rooted in the american dream. these are our values. these are our believes. and when we hold onto them, we do great things. what we learn from all our challenges is not that our values are not true, not that
3:49 pm
our values are not good, but that every generation must commit to them and work to make them real for the challenges of their time. we have also learned that the catalyst for change has always been young people, just like you. young people who reject stereotypes. who turn away from old ways of thinking, who insist that we can and will do better. your cannot tell you that choice to change the world, the in honor and obligation to others, i cannot tell you this will always be comfortable. i cannot predict the exact results of your actions, but i can assure you, i can tell you today that by working to improve the circumstances of your own particular time and place, you will create ripples of change
3:50 pm
that will flow far into the inure, expanding as they go ways that none of us can ever imagine. and if you need proof of that, look no further than our own history in this country. now we know that the lawyers and the merchants who gathered in the pennsylvania a house to declare their independence from britain did not have you and me in mind when they asserted that all men are created equal. they were thinking about. they had pushed us off the page. but their words have inspired movements for equality ever sent. because one does not claim liberty and equality by virtue of one's gender or race, but by virtue of being a child of god. [applause] organizers of the seneca
3:51 pm
whos convention in 1848 were trying to get women the vote did not expect to awaken a national campaign, but their example has galvanized and empowered women to this a. because when the full force of womanhood is awakened, nations change, and dreams come true. your age whonts sat at a lunch counter in greensboro, north carolina, who sat in the basement of my father's church and planned their next move, were not looking to change federal law, but their actions ignited a wave of protests throughout the south that fueled the civil rights movement everywhere and helped bring about a greater society. because when freedom is awakened in the hearts of a people, it will never sleep again.
3:52 pm
, some of themen former slaves, who started education in the dim basement of an atlanta church, 135 years ago, did so not knowing if their dreams of an education for themselves, for all their daughters, for all of us, would ever come true. but you are here, we are here, because of them. womene the power of black to lean on faith, to make a way out of no way, can move mountains. [applause] graduates, class of 2016, you are the heir to the vision of the founders, to the courage of suffragists, to the persistence of the students, and
3:53 pm
to the determination of those women. each of them sought to improve their own circumstances, but they also expanded the sphere of opportunity, not just for themselves, but also for generations to come. but know this all, as you think about their example, as you think about the legacy they leave, and sometimes the burden that can place on you, they all, every one of them, at one time sat exactly where you sit today, on the brink of moving into a world that they were still learning how to navigate, that they were not sure what open its arms to them and their talents, and they all wondered, as you do , how will i find that way? what will be my task? and they moved into the world not knowing what impact they would have. in many cases not even living to see the fruition of their effort.
3:54 pm
but they sought not a title, but a task. they step out on faith and wanted to be known for their works. and as you all prepare to leave here today, i urge you to draw strength from that inheritance, to lean on that example, and step doubt the smallest can create the most sweeping change. i want you to go forth into this world that is waiting for you. explore the sciences that will expand our world, the economies they keep it running, and the laws that set it free. but i urge you to never lose sight of our comrades in humanity, on whose behalf we are thecalled to work with faith that will sustain us through it all. this is my call to you, to find your change and to live it.
3:55 pm
and my graduates, my sisters, don't ever forget to lean on the bonds of sisterhood. throughl sustain you your questions. it will support you through your work. it will give you the strength to carry on the matter how challenging the task. it will be there for you to matter how long you need it. , for a days of your life year, or just 166 days. and so, today, we let go of your hand, knowing that you will soar , you will fly. not just across the street, but across the world. knowing that as much as we want to hold you close, the world needs you more. so i want to congratulate you, the class of 2016. thank you for letting me spend a few minutes in your brilliance
3:56 pm
today. i cannot wait to see what you all achieve, because i already we of what youa have brought. congratulations, graduates, your families, and all of us who have come here to celebrate these wonderful, wonderful women. thank you. [applause] >> vice president joe biden and .ormer house speaker [applause]
3:57 pm
>> fbi director james comey delivered the commencement address to long graduates at the university of richmond. he told graduating class to use their judgment and talked about his own interest in public service. he previously served as it u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia which has jurisdiction over the city of richmond. careerreflection from my and then a piece of advice, and then i will get out of your way. let me start with the piece of advice. when i think about the successful. a lot known, whether they were lawyers are physicians or business or government leaders, there is an overwhelmingly common act be, which is judgment. judgment is different than intelligence. intelligence is actually fairly common, judgment is very rare. intelligence is the ability to solve the riddle and nail a set
3:58 pm
of facts. lots of people can do that. judgment is the ability to circle, to orbit that answer and see how it might be seen through the eyes of others, to move the answer in place and time, to try and see how it might be seen a year from now on congress, five years from now in a newspaper how mightoffice, other people experience this. judgment is the ability to say what something means. something, graphing intelligent people can master a data set and show you the answer on a graph. people with good judgment can say, let me tell you what it means. so where does this come from, the ability to orbit a situation and see it through the eyes of others. it comes from screwing up, from doing things that tick people off and then remembering that's how people see that, that's how they experience it.
3:59 pm
it's mostly a gift to you and it is nurtured along the way, the gift is protected and nurtured. think about what you've just done for the last three years, and i know it's early, but think about what you have practiced doing for three years. you have practiced, with the help of these great people, taking a situation and moving it in your mind, asking yourself and being asked in a very demanding way. how would that be different in this place or that place? how would it be different if we changed the facts or some of the assumptions? and by the way, what are your assumptions? how sure are you of what you just said, and how would that change if i changed this little thing. you are being drilled in the practice of judgment, to take a situation and see it from different perspectives, who would around, and experience it through the eyes of another.
4:00 pm
that is an extraordinarily valuable gift to you. it requires a measure of humility because it is very difficult to escape the trap that is each of us. i can only experience the world through the experience of almost nobody experiences the world way i do. so how do i get in their heads and see it the way they see it? so i can be a better leader, husband, lawyer, person? judgment is the answer, being intentional about fostering my ability to ask myself, how could it be seen differently? you just spent three years practicing that. it won't shock you to know, there are those people who have gotten out of law school and not demonstrated great judgment and the rest of their i -- lives. how do you do that? i have two slightly

6 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on